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Plymouth fisherman's death was 'an accident' inquest finds

Rescue crews searched for the missing vessel in September 2017 Photo: ITV News

The death of a fisherman who drowned off the coast of Plymouth has been ruled as an accident.

Tony Jones died in September 2017 after his trawler overturned while he was fishing near the Eddystone lighthouse.

Mr Jones' son Nick Jones and crew member Chris Wonnacott were found clinging to the upturned hull of the boat.

Following an inquest, a jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Two men were found clinging to the upturned hull Credit: Marine Accident Investigation Bureau

The alarm was raised at 8.40pm on September 26th 2017, when a fishing vessel with three people on board was reported as overdue in Plymouth.

The Coastguard helicopter from Newquay located the Solstice PH199 around four miles south of Plymouth at 1am, with two men on the upturned hull.

The men were rescued by the Plymouth RNLI lifeboat and transferred into the care of the South Western Ambulance Service.

An intensive search, which involved two Royal Navy warships, a Border Force vessel and RNLI lifeboats along with Coastguard helicopters, was launched for third man.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) later confirmed the incident had resulted in the loss of one life.

Mr Jones died after the boat capsized Credit: Marine Accident Investigation Bureau

Last year an investigation found that Mr Jones died as a result of heavy machinery being added to his trawler, causing it to overturn.

The report from the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau criticized the vessel's modifications as well as Falmouth Coastguard's response.

Mr Jones' death has been ruled as accidental following an inquest Credit: Marine Accident Investigation Bureau